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SACD changers: quality at a decent price? (1 Viewer)

ChrisAG

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Aug 26, 2001
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I'm looking to buy one of these in the near term, but I'm wondering if a decent model can be had for under $800 CDN or $500 US yet. I've read good things about the Sony 555ES but that one is still expensive. Will going cheaper comprimise quality by much? Should one wait till more models come onto the market?
 

Aaron H

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Jun 28, 2001
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I'm in the same situation. I really like what I hear about the 555es, but at $600, it's probably just out of reach for me. The 222es is going for around $350, I think.

Aaron
 

Doug_B

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Feb 11, 2001
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Gentleman,
One of the fun aspects of this hobby is rationalizing an increase in budget to get that item that is "out of reach". :D :D :D If you need ammunition for the 555ES, it's not much of a budget increase, and the original retail price was twice as much (in USD).
Good Luck
Doug
 

chung_sotheby

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Apr 8, 2002
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I think that just pushing up your budget to $600 USD will net you a 555es, which is one of the great all-time sony components. The thing is a beaut. If you are lucky, like I was, you might be able to find one for about $525 USD, in which case it is a complete steal.
Oh, and BTW, I think the original MSRP was something in the line of $1700 USD.
 

Daryl Furkalo

Second Unit
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Dec 8, 2000
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Chris,

I bought my 555es from J&R for $600US. The 555es in Canada from Sony is still insanely priced at $1499CDN. Sony has a tendency to get rid of good product and NOT replacing it with something comparable or at all, the SACD ES changers for example.
 

chung_sotheby

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Apr 8, 2002
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In that way sony is much like alot of other Japanese companies, meaning that they put out a couple of killer products, then on the second generation of products and buyers they skimp on the quality and increase the price. IE Lexus, Toyota, Sony itself, etc.
 

Greg Schwabacher

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May 31, 1999
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Jim Oade (of Oade Bros. fame) told me last week that the 'C555ES wasn't being discontinued, and in fact would be in production through the spring. This information came to him courtesy of a Sony rep he spoke to at a trade show in Canada.

Anyway, take that FWIW...
 

Rich Malloy

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Whoah... really? I thought Sony had passed the official word of discontinuance on this model.
Well that would certainly change the calculus for me. I was in a rush to get the 555 before they got scarce, worried that the only new models were gonna be the universal type with subpar audio... and then someone over at the Steve Hoffman forums said he had inside info that the newer models would have increased bass management flexibility, etc.
What's a fellar to do? :frowning:
I'd love to be able to wait and see what new models are in the offing with the knowledge that the 555 will still be around should the new ones not suit my needs... I'd sure hate to miss out, though.
 

KeithH

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Chris,
Given the high prices of Sony ES SACD changers in Canada, I would get a 'C555ES from a US dealer (J&R Music World, OneCall, or Oade Bros.) for around $600 USD before buying a 'C222ES from a Canadian retailer. The 'C222ES is a very good component and is a bargain at $350 USD, but it is no 'C555ES. Get the 'C555ES if you can.
Rich,
Given that Sony seemed to have no presence at CEDIA and has not announced a replacement for the 'C555ES, you may be safe waiting awhile. Of course, how can you stand waiting? ;) Seriously though, just try to stay up with developments, if there are any.
Daryl and Chung,
I share your concern over Sony possibly not turning out suitable replacements for the Sony ES SACD changers. The SCD-1 and '777ES first-generation SACD players seem to be one-time wonders (though the 'XA777ES is an excellent component in its own right). Also, the initial word is that the new 'NS999ES SACD/DVD player does not show the build quality of the 'S9000ES. Of course, the 'NS999ES could turn out to be a great component. Anyway, it will interesting to see if and when Sony ever does replace the 'C555ES, and if so, what they offer.
 

David Berry

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May 9, 2002
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150
Chris,
I bought the Sony 555ES player from Oade Bros. a few months ago now for $570 US shipped. The total cost was about $1080 Cdn. The player is outstanding (just do a search on this forum). I would recommend, if possible, for you to increase you budget of $800 to $1100. It did receive a Stereophile Class A rating for SACD playback.
You can send me a personal email if you want and I will give you my number and we can discuss the unit.
David
 

John Geelan

Screenwriter
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Oct 11, 2000
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You also can't beat the price and value of the Sony 775 SACD changer.
Get one before their all gone!
 

ChrisAG

Supporting Actor
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Aug 26, 2001
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503
Thanks again everyone for the advice. I ended up getting the 222ES from Oade Bros., since it had gotten positive reviews and fit my budget nicely at US $325 + shipping.

I've listened to it for about five hours now, and it sounds great right out of the box. It is far superior to my 1987 Philips single CD player, Marantz CC-3000 changer, Toshiba SD-2300 DVD player, and a friend's circa-1989 Sony changer that had been my previous benchmark (I know none of these are exactly audiophile quality, but I never realized there could be such a differnce in sound between players).

If I had to describe the sound, I would say that it has a more expansive soundstage and natural delivery than I am used to, and that's just with regular CDs, as I don't have any SACDs yet.

The build quality is very impressive for the most part, although the tray could be a little stronger. The gold-plated output jacks are a nice touch.

Since my unit's date of manufacture is fairly recent at August 2002, perhaps the 222ES has not been discontinued yet.
 

David Berry

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May 9, 2002
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Chris,

For SACD titles, check out mymusic.com. Although they do not have as great a selection as HMV.ca, they consistently beat their prices by about $5 per SACD. I have ordered from both in the past with no problems whatsoever.
 

ChrisAG

Supporting Actor
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Aug 26, 2001
Messages
503
Thanks David,

BTW, according to a Sony Canada tech rep, Sony Canada will honour the warranty for Sony products purchased from the US. However, he was unclear as to if they would honour the 5-year US warranty over and above the Canadian 3-year. Then again, I purchased the player with my VISA card, which should offer an additional year of coverage.

At least I won't have to make a trip to the US if I need service.
 

David Berry

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May 9, 2002
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Chris,

When I spoke to Oade Brothers, a Sony warranty rep in the US and a Sony warranty rep in Canada, all were unanimous in that as the purchase was made in the US, Sony Canada (a separate entity unto itself) was not responsible for warranty repair. For that, I would have to ship to an authorized Sony repair shop (closest is in Boston). I pay for one way. As the warranty issue was a concern of mine, I was thorough in finding out this information.

To whom did you speak at Sony Canada (i.e. I want a name and phone number for this person such that if something does go wrong, I can fire this right back at them to get it repaired in Canada).

Thank you
 

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